Five Finger Death Punch

Got Your Six

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    4
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Five Finger Death Punch have proven one of the most popular alt-metal bands, with three gold records, enviable radio play, and sell-out tours. Their instantly recognizable sound is comprised of equal parts melodic and meaty guitar riffs, fat vamps, catchy hooks, tight, flashy solos, and hard-grooving bass and drums. Ivan Moody's half-sung/half-growled -- always angry -- vocals rage over the top. Got Your Six is no different. (The thinking seems to be, "If it ain't broke, milk it.") Recorded by Kevin Churko, it's a tad slicker than its predecessors. The album's biggest setback isn't behind the board, though, it's but behind the mike. Moody's lyrics are so juvenile and clunky they distract from the better songs. First single "Jekyll & Hyde" has him trying to rap the verses in old-school ('80s) style. Zoltan Bathory's chugging riff and Jason Hook's brief, powerful solo can't rescue it. The title track intros with soft melodic guitar then give way to a crunchy, heavy riff, unruly bass, cracking snare, and kick drum. Meanwhile, Moody growls/sings about what a loyal eternal bad ass he is, talks during the breakdown, and mars an otherwise fine song. The first line in "This Ain't My Last Dance," "I'm the apocalypse/with a fat lip...," is so ridiculous, the track is impossible to take seriously. "No Sudden Moment" is the heaviest thing here, with a blasting riff, thundering double-kick drum, and satisfying guitar breaks, but the dumb singalong chorus ("Click clack/Reload/Click clack/Unload") diffuses the impact. "Question Everything" -- with the least offensive lyrics here -- contains a throbbing bassline and flamenco-style guitar breakdown. Set-closer "Boots & Blood" commences with "Think of one word to change the world/And now put it into action/Fuuuuuuuuck!" That last word becomes a mantra, used in almost every line in this "anthem" and the generic riff doesn't help. Moody's awful writing isn't the only problem on Got Your Six, just the biggest one. As a whole, the album doesn't contain the hunger, heaviness, or energy earlier records did. It's bigger sonically, but less cohesive. It goes by in a blur, with little memorable enough to warrant repeated listening.

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